"shape clearly there seemed to drop into this
silence this indifference, this integrity, the thud of
[A shell exploded. Twenty or thirty young
men were blown up in France, among them
Andrew Ramsay, whose death, mercifully, was
At that season those who had gone down to
pace the beach and ask of the sea and sky what
message they reported or what vision they
affirmed had to consider among the usual tokens
of divine bounty — the sunset on the sea, the
pallor of dawn, the moon rising, fishing-boats
against the moon, and children pelting each
other with handfuls of grass,—something out
of harmony with this jocundity, this serenity.
There was the silent apparition of an ashen-
coloured ship for instance, come, gone; there was
a purplish stain upon the bland surface of the sea
as if something had boiled and bled, invisibly,
beneath. This intrusion into a scene calculated
to stir the most sublime reflections and lead to the
most comfortable conclusions stayed their pacing.
It was difficult blandly to overlook them, to
abolish their significance in the landscape; to
continue, as one walked by the sea, to marvel how
beauty outside mirrored beauty within.
Did Nature supplement what man advanced?